Longtime USA 7s player Matt Hawkins will not be joining the team on its next assembly.
Hawkins, who leads all USA players with 27 IRB World Series appearances, told Al Caravelli, until Wednesday the USA 7s team coach, that he would be taking a break from the team. That wasn’t a personal decision, Hawkins told RUGBYMag.com, and he sticks by his decision now that Caravelli has resigned and Alex Magleby is in.
“I said that I was going to take a break after Las Vegas,” Hawkins explained. “I have to commit myself to the work I am doing with Serevi, and also the coaching I am doing with San Diego State. Now is the time for me to put my head down.”
He still harbors hopes of playing in the 2016 Olympics.
“I hope I am not done playing,” Hawkins continued. “But right now it makes sense for me to take a break.”
It’s expected that Shalom Suniula will make the USA team going to Hong Kong and Tokyo. If that is the case, when he steps onto the field in Japan, Suniula will pass Hawkins with his 28th IRB World Series appearance.
Hawkins also has 43 career World Series tries, tied with Zack Test for second all-time among USA players – Jovesa Naivalu still leads the USA all-time with 47, but Test is in prime position to catch Naivalu in the next few tournaments.